By C. delos Angeles
MECQ Reflections: Call in the Cavalry! (Conclusion)
As I mentioned in my previous article when Cebu reverted to ECQ and Pres. Duterte assigned two key officers to oversee the operations many were wary. In fact, people in the province were all scared of Martial Law.
The fears were actually almost realized as Gen. Eleazar brought 150 SAF (Special Action Force) of the PNP, equivalent of the Navy Seals or some elite military division. He brought in tanks to patrol the streets. He surveyed the area with helicopters to see if there were excessive crowding and movement.
The result, Cebu as a ghost town and two weeks later the entire province was back on the winning track.
As much as I admire the President’s past fiery rhetoric and decisive actions, I cannot understand his posturing lately and those he surrounds himself with. He also designated so many czars it’s already so hard to keep track. The president has a history of appointing generals whom some I do not agree with and prefer technocrats and businessmen to head other government agencies, but in times like a crisis this is the ideal time to appoint generals and other military men.
They are decisive, swift and demand respect — things needed in a situation like this, less talk, more action. Forget the arguing, forget the discussion. Act and maybe correct the mistakes as we move along. Either way mistakes will be made. So better act, act quickly, and correct quickly. No plan is perfect, and reality is something that almost always does not go according to plan. Why be caught up with bureaucratic paralysis?
Call in the cavalry! Bring in the reinforcements! We know the hotspots, bring in the tanks like in Cebu. Survey the skies, identify the violators and arrest them. We cannot be weak, we have no time to be soft as time is of the essence, people are dying and lives and livelihoods are being lost.
President Duterte was right when he declared a lockdown, but it got wasted because people, even public officials, were not obeying or following. They were abusing the system, making “palusot.”
Now forget courtesy, forget appeasing. Call it militarization or police visibility. Let’s end this once and for all. A little more patience with swift action can curb the curve. Give reprieve to those who asked for it, but we cannot be babied. Bite the bullet. Call in the cavalry! Call in the tanks!
Lockdown communities. The PNP can do it. They did it in Cebu with Gen. Eleazar. They can do it in Metro Manila, too.